Category: Heart Health MonthA Scientific Approach to Heart Health Note: The following article originallyappeared on USANAToday.com.USANA scientists recently conducted a study in conjunction with a research team at theBoston University School of Medicine. The study showed that grape-seed extract andvitamin C may be beneficial for people who already have a form of cardiovasculardisease called coronary artery disease (CAD).Here’s a little bit of background: Oxidative stress may impact the heart’s ability toeffectively pump blood. Over time, this impaired function has been shown to be animportant factor in the progression of CAD.Grape-seed extract and vitamin C have been shown to significantly protect againstoxidative stress, as well as to have positive effects on blood flow. The USANA/BU teamsuspected that the powerful antioxidants could support healthy blood flow throughsupplementation of these two key nutrients together.
Researchers gave study participants, who were alreadydiagnosed with CAD, either a placebo or 450 mg of grape-seed extract and 1500 mg ofvitamin C. Blood samples were taken four hours after receiving the first dose, then againfour weeks after taking the same dosage every day.Those in the treatment group showed improved antioxidant levels. Blood flow responsealso showed significant improvement following the 28-day treatment relative to theplacebo group.These results suggest (PDF) that grape-seed extract and vitamin C, working together,may help improve vascular function in people with CAD, even in tiny peripheral bloodvessels. The results of this study were so impressive they were shared at an eventsponsored by the American Heart Association.Back to Previous PageUSANA ResearchOur research has shown that when you eat low glycemic foods, get some moderateexercise like walking, and get a good quality supplement like the Essentials, you’ll bewell on your way to shedding the pounds and gaining health (Wyatt HR, Ogden LG,Cassic KS, Hoagland EA, McKinnon T, Eich N, Chernyshev V, Wood T, Cuomo J, HillJO. Successful internet-based lifestyle change program on body weight and markers ofmetabolic health. 2009.)But USANA has done much more than just provide a solid low glycemic food option inour Nutrimeals and Nutrition Bars, and excellent antioxidant protection in ourEssentials and HealthPak. We also offer a line of excellent Optimizers designed withyour heart in mind.Products such as BiOmega™, Proflavanol® C100, CoQuinone® 30, Vitamin D, andFibergy® Plus should be part of every regimen designed to help protect your heart.So join with me and make every month Heart Health Month. Eat plenty of fruits andvegetables every day, to get antioxidants, bioflavonoids and fiber, get out and get someexercise, and take the right supplements so we can all celebrate Heart Health Month nextyear and well into the future.
Back to Previous PageFor the Love of Heart Health: Are You ‘Smart’ or‘Dumb’?Editor’s Note: Relying on drugs to prevent heart disease is “heart dumb.” USANAmarketing manager Camille Fletcher explains how a collaborative USANA study showssupplementing with certain nutrients makes you “heart smart”!Hi USANA family!I consider myself pretty lucky in that I get to work with the awesome group of scientistshere at the Home Office every day. I can tell you from experience that they really arecommitted to finding breakthroughs in nutritional science that can impact our world-classproducts and, in turn, lives around the world.But, like many of you, I don’t speak “scientist,” so I’m here to try and translate the resultsof a recent USANA study that has great implications for heart health. (Special thanks toSenior Scientist Brian Dixon, Ph.D., for walking me through it all.)But first, allow me to rant a little…Recently there has been some discussion about the validity of studies whose findingspromote using statin drugs as a primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in low-riskpatients with no previous history of the disease. Whether or not the studies aretrustworthy, which is questionable, it seems to me that, basically, they are trying to provedoctors should give statin drugs to patients before those patients even have heart diseasein the name of “prevention.” Really? Does anyone else think this preventive treatment isa little nuts?I mean…of course, listen to your doctor, but popping a pill sure seems like the lazy wayout of taking proactive responsibility for our health. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) islargely preventable simply by incorporating healthy habits into our daily lives. I don’t
know about you, but I’d much rather eat some vegetables (admittedly, NOT my favorite),get a little exercise, and take nutritional supplements—which can offer all sorts of healthbenefits—rather than take a synthetic chemical drug (with coenzyme Q10-depleting sideeffects) that is designed to manage a disease I don’t even have “just in case”!Which brings us back to the study…To further support the idea of using nutritional supplements as part of a heart smartlifestyle, here’s my take on a study the amazing USANA scientists recently conducted inconjunction with a research team at the Boston University School of Medicine. The studyshowed that some key nutrients in dietary supplements can actually be beneficial forpatients who already have a form of CVD, so imagine what supplementing thosenutrients could mean for those who don’t have the disease.Study BackgroundMaintaining healthy vascular endothelial function is important because endothelium lineour arteries and make nitric oxide to tell the muscles in the blood vessels to relax soblood can flow through more easily. Oxidative stress appears to impact this nitric oxidesignal, impairing endothelial function. Just like an e-mail that bounces back to youbecause the recipient’s mailbox is full, when free radicals clamp onto and change nitricoxide molecules, the message from the endothelium doesn’t get through, so the vesselsstay contracted. This contraction not only makes the heart pump harder to pump bloodthrough a smaller “tube,” but it can also lead to eventual organ failure due to inhibitedblood flow. We all know, cutting down blood flow is NOT a good thing. Over time, thisimpaired function has been shown to be a critical factor in the progression of CVD.Grape-seed extract and vitamin C have both been widely shown to provide significantprotection against oxidative stress (i.e., to be powerful antioxidants) as well as to havepositive effects on blood pressure. The USANA/BU team suspected that there waspotential to protect nitric oxide function and, therefore, support healthy blood flowthrough supplementation of these two key nutrients together.
Image from Human Anatomy & Physiology, fifth edition.What They DidResearchers gave study participants, who were already diagnosed with CVD, either aplacebo or 450 mg of grape-seed extract and 1,500 mg of vitamin C, divided into twodaily doses of two tablets. Blood samples were taken four hours after receiving the firstdose, what scientists call an “acute” measurement. Subjects then continued taking thesame dosage for four weeks and had samples drawn and measured again, called“chronic.” The last blood samples were taken on the last day of the four weeks, againfour hours after the nutrients were taken, called “acute on chronic.”
The researchers measured plasma levels of vitamin C, epicatechin (bioflavonoids), andplasma antioxidant reserve (PAR)—a measure of the blood’s resistance to oxidativestress. They also measured blood flow using fingertip peripheral tonometry (PAT). PATis especially useful in measuring changes in blood flow because it focuses on theperipheral arteries in the fingertip. Making up the majority of the blood vessels in ourbodies, peripheral arteries are those that are farthest from the heart (e.g., hands and feet,also called “microvasculature”). They are miniscule when compared to the arteriescoming directly from the heart, so any noticeable changes are significant.Imagine that someone tightens a blood pressure cuff around your arm. It cuts bloodsupply off to the peripheral arteries in your hand and fingers. When the cuff is released, ahealthy endothelial response will trigger nitric oxide signaling to relax the vessels torestore blood flow as quickly as possible. Those with CVD do not have a healthyresponse, so blood flow tends to remain low even after the cuff is removed.What They FoundIn the treatment group, vitamin C, epicatechin, and PAR increased to varying degrees atall three time points measured (acute, chronic, and acute on chronic)—meaning all theantioxidant levels were improved. And, blood flow response, measured using PAT, alsoshowed significant improvement—meaning the endothelial function and nitric oxideresponse in the peripheral arteries improved following the 28-day treatment relative to theplacebo group.Pretty cool, huh?! These results suggest that grape-seed extract plus vitamin C worktogether to improve vascular function in patients with CVD, even in those tiny peripheralarteries. The results of this study were so impressive, in fact, that they were presented toAmerican Heart Association last year. I’d encourage you to share them with your friendsand family as well.
Now, don’t you feel heart smart?!Check out this poster (PDF) for additional details about the collaborative study betweenUSANA Health Sciences and Boston University, which shows that supplementing withgrape-seed extract and vitamin C can help improve cardiovascular disease.Back to Previous PageSupplement Spotlight: USANA’sProflavanol® C100Let’s talk heart health! February is, after all, Heart Health Awareness Month, whichties in very sweetly with Valentine’s Day, if you ask me.Did you know that your heart is the organ in your body that does the most physical work?Crazy, right! Well it’s not if you’re aware of everything your heart does for you. Everyday, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles, and if you spread that overa lifetime, that’s equivalent to driving to the moon and back.Our heart is the most amazing organ with the most important function — pumping bloodto almost the entire body, non-stop, every day. It’s important to take good care of ourheart. We need to pay attention to the way we treat our entire cardiovascular system witha special focus on the heart.
Heart Health, USANA, and YouUSANA Health Sciences, which was just named the #1 Rated Direct Sales MerchantBased on Customer Satisfaction in the 2011 ConsumerLab.com Survey of Vitamin andSupplement Users, has created an exceptional supplement designed to promote soundcardiovascular health — Proflavanol® C100.Using innovative Nutritional Hybrid Technology, USANA created a powerful pill thatvisually highlights grape seed extract and Poly C. This bilayered tablet is packed withhigh-potency vitamin C and grape-seed extract to support cardiovascular health. I’m surewe all know how important Vitamin C is as the “master antioxidant,” but many don’tknow how awesome grape seed extract really is!Did you know that proanthocyanidins, which are present in grape seeds, play a key rolein regulating several cell processes. Working together, the combination of grape-seedbioflavonoids and vitamin C provide excellent support for healthy circulation, which isimportant for heart health.*The brilliant minds that are behind USANA’s science always deliver. And for those ofyou who have been missing out on all that Proflavanol C100 has to offer, you’d betterhurry up and start taking the Go To, Feel Good supplement. That’s what I’m calling it;feel free to give it whatever charming name you’d like☺Until next time vitamin lovers…Proflavanol C100 is available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and NewZealand. Proflavanol is available in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Malasia, andPhilippines.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is notintended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.Back to Previous PageCategory: Heart Health MonthFrom USANA’s Trainers: Heart Health Month It’s inspiring to watch the world’s elite athletes —especially Team USANA — compete in the 2010 Winter Games. Though most of usaren’t striving for Olympic glory, we can still take a lesson from these athletes and striveto maintain our health.It’s been a while since we’ve had a “From USANA’s Trainers” post. Devan Foster,USANA’s wellness coordinator, has been busily overseeing USANA’s first-rate fitnessfacilities and ensuring our employees are getting their training needs met. He’s doing afantastic job.But since February is Heart Health Month, I asked Devan to share some tips andexplain the importance of a maintaining a healthy heart.Everyone has one, and many consider it the center of human emotion. Most of youprobably know its basic function and how to care for it.Yet according to the World Health Organization, its ailments are the world’s leadingcause of death. In fact, more than 31% of deaths in the United States each year are due tosome form of cardiovascular disease. Does that scare you? Whether it does or doesn’t,here are some ways to help you keep your heart healthy.How do I exercise my heart?While we all know it’s important to exercise the heart, many wonder how best to goabout doing it. It’s really dependent on the individual, who should take into considerationfitness level and interests.
The intensity of a sedentary person’s exercise may bemuch lower than that of his or her highly active friend. Running, biking, swimming, andeven weight lifting are beneficial to the heart. The goal is to raise the heart rate highenough to cause anatomical and physiological change. According to the AmericanCollege of Sports Medicine, the mode of activity may be “any activity using large musclegroups, which can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmical and aerobic innature…”How often do I exercise my heart?The ACSM also says that effective cardiovascular exercise, is exercise that raises theheart rate to 55%+ of an untrained individual’s maximum heart rate (Max Heart Rate =220 – Age) and between 65%-90% of a trained individual’s maximum heart rate. Theduration of this activity should be at least 30 minutes of continuous activity, a minimumof 3 days per week.If you’re someone who has difficulty finding 30 continuous minutes to spare during theday, several 10 minute bouts of high-intensity activity will suffice in strengthening theheart.So why should we put ourselves under such stress and oxygen deprivation? The answerlies in the heart tissue itself.What happens when I exercise my heart?The heart is a muscle, and much like the muscles of your arms or legs, the more we workit the stronger the muscle fibers get. As we strengthen the heart, its ability to pump bloodwith more ease increases.
For example, the heart of an untrained individual at rest,will pump between 50-70 ml/beat, whereas that of an athlete at rest will pump between90-110 ml/beat. In addition to the increased stroke volume, the blood vessels within theheart experience a fascinating change.Exercise causes what is called collateral circulation. Within the heart, are many closedvessels, called collateral blood vessels. Through exercise, these closed vessels open andprovide “alternative routes” for blood. This is extremely important in situations such asstroke or blocked vessels of the heart because the collateral circulation may allow a“detour” around the blockage.Cardiovascular exercise also helps prevent arterial blockage in the first place.Cardiovascular exercise is perhaps the most effective method to increase High DensityLipoproteins (HDLs). HDL cholesterol is “good” cholesterol.Think of it like a garbage truck, picking up Low Density Lipoproteins (LDLs, or badcholesterol) and taking them to the dump (the liver). Lowering LDL levels helps preventheart disease. A healthy diet high in both soluble and insoluble fiber will also helpprevent heart disease.What else can I do?It’s near the beginning of the year, making it the perfect time to reevaluate your personalfitness and set goals to become healthier! Let’s find strength in numbers by joining arunning group or fitness club. Let’s find the willpower to eat a little healthier this year.Let’s fight off heart disease, and at the same time feel better, and be the best person weeach can be! Heart SmartTake advantage of special savings on USANA’s popular heart-healthy products. TheHeart Smart Pack (Item #965) includes CoQuinone® 30, BioMega™, andProflavanol® 90, and is available through Feb. 19 for a special price (US/CA/UK).Category: Heart Health Month